The 2nd annual Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon was run October 4th, starting and ending in New Rochelle, with a field almost four times greater than the inaugural. While 50 runners turned out last year, there were 192 finishers this time. (Results are posted at PaineToPain.com.)
It wasn’t just the Westchester running community that showed up. There were 30 runners from Brooklyn and Manhattan, dozens from New Jersey and Connecticut, and others from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington DC.
“Really good course and excellent staffing,” commented Matt Patrick, a Larchmont runner who took first in his age group last year and finished second overall this year. “When you feel like you’re going to puke with 6 miles to go and still finish with a big smile on your face … that’s the mark of a good event,” he added.
Men’s winner was Iona track and cross-country coach Ricardo Santos (Norwalk, CT) with a time of 1:25:51. Larchmont’s Matt Patrick was only 17 seconds behind, and Mark Maritzen from Rye came in third.
On the women’s side, Lisa Marie Gleeson from Amityville took top honors followed by Megumi Fukami (Sleepy Hollow) and Caroline Balkonis (New York, NY).
The race was run in cloudy conditions with temperatures in the 60s. Rain the night before provided ample mud to slop through, though that did not deter runners from showing up.
That mud, though, may be fast disappearing as Westchester County officials undertake significant improvements on the Colonial Greenway trail system that runs through several communities, including Larchmont and Mamaroneck. They have already started, by repairing poor drainage areas and replacing bridges.
The event could handle twice this year’s registration, without resorting to chip timing and wave starts. This is due, in large part, to the race starting with a dramatic half-mile charge up Broadview Avenue before hitting the first trail. This stretches out the field, but keeps 12 of the 13 miles of the course on dirt (and rocks and roots).
According to registration forms, more people found out about the race from friends than from any other source, indicating the field is likely to grow by next year.